Just last week I was invited to an exclusive frozen yoghurt festival event called Frochella (Froyo + Coachella, get it?) hosted by Ilya Frozen yoghurt in Elsternwick. Ilya was founded 11 months ago by Natash and Jason, both foodie enthusiasts who came from a corporate background. With nothing to lose and a thirst for innovation, setting up a business in the booming food and hospitality industry was the direction the pair decided to head down. And then my friends, Ilya was born.
The frozen yoghurt store is still young, just shy of it’s one year birthday. To celebrate its success approaching it’s one year mark of opening the cofounders decided that it was a good idea to host a yoghurt tasting event inviting foodie lovers from both the blogging and instagramming world to taste test and provide some ideas and feedback on their forever evolving business model. With a room filled with cameras and conversation revolving around our love of food and favourite places to dine, the night was a fun and festive one.
The concept of Ilya started off with Ilya Mechnikov, a Russian scientist looked into the beneficial effects of probiotics on good intestinal health. Ilya Frozen Yoghurt uses locally sourced organic ingredients, their a yoghurt specifically formulated for the shop by their suppliers. There is no cane sugar in their yoghurts, instead Ilya opts to using Stevia a natural sweetener in the form of erythritol to sweetern their products. This means you can gain all the benefits of having frozen yoghurt without the sugar crash but still be able to indulge in its sweetness.
Nutritional information cards
Cofounders Jason and Natasha giving us a little background information on how Ilya came to be.
Empire State of Mind: Freeze dried coffee flavoured froyo with some strawberries, Oreo cookies and strawberries.
Sexy and I know it: Vegan chocolate froyo topped with m&ms
During the night, we were encouraged to participate in the Flavour Master competition, where were were invited to come up with a frozen yoghurt flavour of our own. Five flavours will be chosen out of the list and the most popular one as voted by the public have their frozen yoghurt flavour named after them and made available in store.
You can see the range of delicious froyo toppings we were spoilt with. Not included in the picture but also made available were some sticky rice cakes and brownies.
Now when we had gone through the 8 flavours already made available in store, things became quite interesting. Round two of our frozen yoghurt tasting included 7 exclusive flavours that the crew had just created for us to try for the night. These limited edition flavours invoked both excitement and fear.
Welcome to the Jungle: Coconut pandan froyo with black sesame crisps and a tiny teddy.
The coconut pandan flavour could do with some room for improvement as the pandan flavour was quite overpowered by the coconut flavour.
To summarize our 15 course frozen yoghurt degustation here were the flavours we tried during the night.
- Cookies and cream: a popular favourite
- Coconut: tastes just like…well, coconut.
- Coffee: tastes like coffee, tastes like really strong coffee. Using freeze dried coffee in this mix, gives it a very strong expresso flavour.
- Tart: original flavour
- Mixed berry: Super refreshing, another favourite.
- Churros: Interesting flavour combination, actually tastes like Churros.
- Vegan chocolate: very strong chocolate flavour and light and guilt free. One of the most popular, if not most popular flavour of the night.
- Soy Chai: soy milk with a nice cinnamon scent and flavour hints.
- Black sesame: mild black sesame flavour, a little disappointing but goes well with the black sesame crisps.
- Coconut pandan: Pandan flavour was overpowered by the coconut.
- Earl grey with cranberries: My personal favourite, an absolutely refreshing and delicious combination.
- Acai berry: Very similar to the mixed berry but slightly different (if you know what I meant).
- Rosemary cheesecake: A very tart, unflatteringly cheesy flavour. Did not like.
- Choc orange: Just like the vegan chocolate but with a strong orange flavour added. Tastes exactly like chocolate orange confectionery.
- Bloody Mary: A mixture of all sorts of flavours that just does not work well together. Tomato? Tobasco? Pepper? No thanks.
At the end of the night we were all given a small tub of frozen yoghurt to take home as well as a large empty froyo cup to come back anytime to enjoy a free serving of frozen yoghurt on the house. I would definitely come back to Ilya when I’m in the need for a sugar free vegan froyo hit and I can’t wait to see what flavour comes out from the Flavour master competition.